The short answer is no. While we admire those of you creating games, we don’t currently take unsolicited board game ideas.
However, this isn’t necessarily a permanent decision. We might change our minds in the future or open up pitches during certain times of the year. But right now, we’re not taking outside ideas. Here’s why:
I’ve taken unsolicited ideas for games at a previous company, and there, nearly all games pitched to me were not a good fit. Usually for one of 3 reasons:
- The concept of the game wasn’t strong enough, or wasn’t right for our audience. At Underdog, this problem is even more pronounced, because we’ve put great effort into understanding our customers more deeply than most publishers do. In consequence, we require our games do very specific things, which many outside games don’t do. Thus, it’s easier and more effective for us to do this work internally.
- The game itself hadn’t been thought through enough, so to develop it would be like creating a game from scratch.
- The game was too difficult or impractical to make.
Before we take on the colossal amount of work it takes to turn an idea into a game, we start by knowing it’s something our customers would want. We frequently talk to customers to get their opinions on game ideas, and we also do surveys to see the concepts that rise to the top.
I’ve had game ideas I really want to make, yet the customers don’t respond well to the concept so they don’t make it very far.
When game designers solicit me with ideas, I will refer them to our game creation document, which outlines our objectives and constraints for making a game. Often, they will read through this and see their idea isn’t a good fit. This isn’t to say they don’t have a good idea. It’s just not a fit for us.
This is part of our Ask Nick series, featuring the head of Underdog Studios, Nick Bentley. Do you have a question for Nick? Send it to him using this form here.